After 73 years from its founding, the Philharmonic finally received its own home. A new temple of music which will start writing a new history of the oldest musical institution in the country. Situated between the State School of Music and Ballet Ilija Nikolovski-Luj and the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, the contemporary concert hall, built according to world standards of how a space intended for a symphonic orchestra should look and function, is appealing to the eye. The erection of the hall also encompassed the city’s crucial musical and artistic dimension in general.
The Philharmonic of RNM is the first and only symphonic orchestra in the Republic of North Macedonia and subsequently the only permanent representative of the symphonic opus on the Macedonian music scene. The innovative and creative repertoire is balanced with the traditional musical values, which is what attracts the audience, especially the new generations of listeners. The Orchestra is founded on 24 November 1944, after the end of the second world war and only 11 days after the liberation of Skopje. On the street Krushovska no. 27, in the home of the composer Todor Skalovski, one of the pillars of the Macedonian music culture, a group of musicians held the first meeting in order to form a symphonic orchestra, to form the first state orchestra, to lay the foundation of a great cultural institution, first of its kind in liberated Macedonia. The creation of the Philharmonic Orchestra in those times, is actually a revolution in the spiritual sense of the word. A revolution made only by a few artists, who instead of guns, in their hands will hold musical instruments with which they will “shoot” the marvellous sounds of the most beautiful art – music, hitting their successors directly in the heart.
From these humble beginnings until today, during the seven decades of existence, the Philharmonic Orchestra created unforgettable concert moments performing a wide repertoire from the classical music literature, as well as world premieres of works by contemporary authors, enlivening the works of the Macedonian music creators with exceptional pride. During the time of its existence, this orchestra has changed its name and has been attached to other institutions numerous times (National Opera and Ballet and the Macedonian Radio), until 1960, when it was finally constituted as an independent music institution. After the catastrophic Skopje earthquake of 1963, the Philharmonic Orchestra embarked on a European tour with the acclaimed conductor Igor Markevich, which is of exceptional significance for the solidarity shown to the city hit by the earthquake from the people around Europe and the world.
During the years, the Philharmonic of RNM became one of the main leaders in the music life of the country and an ambassador of the Macedonian art throughout the world. Besides the regular concert appearances at home, the symphonic orchestra has performed around the world presenting the sonorous heritage of its country. Numerous conductors has led the Orchestra from the conductor’s stand, such as the founders Todor Skalovski and Trajko Prokopiev, followed by Lovro von Matačić, Vancho Chavdarski, Fimcho Muratovski, Angel Shurev, Carlo Zecchi, Neeme Järvi, Igor Markevich, Oskar Danon, Dushan Skovran, Aleksandar Lekovski, Pero Petrovski, Tomislav Shopov, Đura Jakšić, Mladen Jagusht, Veronika Dudarova, Emin Khachaturian…, and in more recent times Sasha Nikolovski-Gjumar, Borjan Canev, Tadeusz Kozłowski, Doron Salomon, Yuri Temirkanov, Vyacheslav Blinov, Pavle Deshpalj, Ermir Krantja, Ramiz Melik Aslanov, Anton Nanut, Janusz Przybylski, Stefan Lano, Urosh Lajovic, Emil Tabakov, Leonid Nikolaev, Timothy Redmond, Evan Christ, Krzysztof Penderecki, Hisham Gabr, Martin Panteleev, Paul Weigold, Dmitry Liss, Michał Nesterowicz, Case Scaglione, Yeruham Scharowsky, Daniel Raiskin…
On the stage as soloists with the orchestra performed renowned vocal and instrumental artists, amongst whom were Aldo Ciccolini, Halina Czerny-Stefańska, Henryk Szeryng, Leonid Kogan, André Navarra, Jose Carreras, Tzimon Barto, David Garrett, Ilya Gringolts, Torleif Thedéen, Alexander Melnikov, Yossif Ivanov, Valery Sokolov, Isabelle Faust, Ann Hallenberg, Emmanuel Pahud, Daniel Müller-Schott, Boris Berezovsky, Akiko Suwanai, Sergei Krylov, Ning Feng, Amy Dickson, István Várdai, Midori Goto, Alexei Volodin, Evgeny Koroliov, Sayaka Shoji, Simon Trpcheski, Ana Durlovski, Blagoj Nacoski, Gjorgji Dimchevski, Dino Imeri… In the last few years, the Philharmonic Orchestra built its own specific image, recognisable as an institution not only in the country, but further abroad, in the region and in Europe.
The programme policy of this institution created a new form of expression to attend to the tastes of the different types of listeners. The innovative programmes which widened the genre and aesthetic frame, also widened the possibilities of the orchestra and especially charming are the educational symphonic concerts intended for the youngest, which aim to create new admirers of classical music. The Philharmonic, even with the new designs of the printed materials and the specific marketing solutions, continues to follow the mainstreams in Europe and the world, keeping up with the new courses in classical music and other music genres.